Thinking about starting a blog? You do not have a blog yet? Everyone and their granny seem to be jumping on the bandwagon. You are so lucky I am here to teach you how to start your blog with a bang and look like a seasoned pro from the very start.
There are blogs for every single niche (pronounced neesh if you are speaking British English).
If you are passionate about something, you have most likely seen blogs and thought ‘I could totally do that’, or you saw some awesome Pinterest DIY projects you want to try, blogging is the PERFECT platform to share your passions and your views.
Most of all, I want to hear what you have to say, so let’s get started, shall we?
Read This Before Starting A Blog
Let’s Get The Party Started!
There’s a sure-fire way to get your blog started with a bang and look like a pro from the beginning.
So you have an idea for a blog, or you have been thinking about starting one… it is simple. Honest.
What are you passionate about?
You have to be passionate about something, enough to make post after post about a subject.
Grab a pen and piece of paper.. think:
What do you care about?
Brainstorm, go crazy. Then go through that list and figure out what you could produce the most quality content.
Always remember when you are thinking about posts, what is in it for your reader? Because if a reader comes to read your post and there’s nothing in it for her, she is going to leave. Immediately. That is how you can realise your passion.
You should be starting a blog today. I want to hold your hand through the process.
Seriously, I will be there for you, to show you how to start your blog, give you some awesome resources and some super secret advice about starting a blog with a bang.
Have you thought about your business/blog name?
If you don’t quite know what you want to blog about, a good idea could be to use your name. I knew what I wanted my blog to be about, but it did take a day of good brainstorming, note taking and ruminating, to choose my own.
Melyssa Griffin has a great post if you think you need a little bit more help.
Once you have thought of a fabulous name for your small biz, check NameCheckr so you will know whether you can get access to the username across all social media channels, buy your domain and start registering your name on all the social media channels.
Before starting a blog, you need to find an easy to use blogging platform.
Honestly, WordPress looked a little overwhelming in the beginning but the menus are easy to use, and they have lots of free themes if you do not feel like splashing out immediately. It’s understandable, you don’t go starting a blog to spend money.
However, I recommend buying the Genesis framework* and a great theme for the Genesis framework*. The reason I went for genesis was this post from CopyBlogger about how it improved site speed by 72.2%. Sold!
Buy Your Domain Name
This is the simple part, trust me. I had already purchased my domain before I had purchased my hosting, I wish I had been able to buy it all through the one company. It has ended up being about twice the cost. *grumble* The good news for you is that you can get both through any hosting company that you choose!
I suggest that you purchase your domain name at the time of purchasing your hosting packaging. You can pick a hosting package through A2 Hosting for as little as £2.95 a month (thanks to the 50% discount you get). That is three freaking pounds.
You can get $10 when you sign up to ebates* and earn cashback on your purchases. That could cover your monthly hosting fees!
While you are buying your domain, you can get yourself a little corner of the interwebs where you can have a bit more control over your content.
How do I decide on a hosting package?
Meaning that compared to the free blogging websites (that I used to be on), where your content is hosted on their servers, and they can delete it whenever the heck they like because actually, they own your content, self-hosted content is the winner.
FYI, I haven’t come across anyone who has had their content removed (who was a legit blogger, to begin with). ANYONE can create a WordPress blog easily.
A2 Hosting makes starting a blog insanely easy!
It is easy to use. You will be self-hosted. If you want to monetize your blog, then you will want to be self-hosted.
If you want to appear much more professional to readers, PR companies and brands then you should be self-hosted on A2 Hosting than being on Blogspot.
A2 Hosting is a highly affordable web hosting option if you are starting out.
You can have a blog of your own, and the only real expense you need to pay is the cheap blog hosting which starts at just £2.95 per month.
A2 Hosting offers technical support 24/7. That is SO important when you live in the UK or Europe, and they are based in America.
Grab your hosting package of choice!
The most important thing in all of this: honestly, once you have familiarised yourself with your blogging platform of choice, you can start to add plugins, apps or whatever else you want to add.
A little warning – Try not to upload or use too many plugins as there is no actual need for a lot of the ones that exist.
Moreover, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the cart. Keep in mind that every time you activate a new plugin on your site, it is taking up memory in your database that doesn’t get removed by just deleting the plugin.
Add Your Pretty Little Face on the sidebar
When someone attends a party, they want to meet the host right? Include a little info about you and a little blurb of text to say what your blog has to offer someone like me!
Use your voice
Using my voice is something I have struggled with in the past.
It is easy to get caught up in self-doubt, asking yourself ‘why the heck anyone would want to read something you have to say?’
Well, it turns out people do want to hear your opinions. Otherwise, it is all a little bit bland and samey. Y’kno?
The party goers (blog readers) are going to want to hear what YOU think and how you feel about your chosen topic of party mingling conversation. If you struggle with this, there is a great article over at WiseInkBlog… that teaches you how to be that bit more authentic. I am in the process of learning how to do this myself.
Make Your Reader Want More!
Offer something of substance in return for an e-mail address. An opt-in box is ‘a sign me up for the newsletter’ box! Excellent opt-in forms are always impressive and can help you collect those e-mails.
Do a bit of research, find the style of opt-in form that you like and implement it (usually via a plugin or some swanky code).
Building an email list is one of the cheapest, most cost-effective solutions for keeping in touch with your readers and potential future customers.
When’s the best time to get started?
Answer: Right now.
Don’t wait for a “bribe”. You should not wait for things to look perfect. Start building your email list today. Create your “bribe” (free download/opt-in/lead magnet/extra words/blah blah blah) after you have put an opt-in form in a prominent place on your site.
Not just in the sidebar; people are becoming immune to the attraction of the sidebar unless they are after something specific.
Who hosts a party and doesn’t even show their face or meet any of the guests?! Be present on your blog and social media. It doesn’t have to be all social media. Choose one and OWN IT! Respond to people, engage and offer some value to their lives.
For example, on my craft blog I have Free Craft Magazines (seriously, totally free), a free budget home decor guide and several checklists designed to help you out with your social media and online presence.
However, because those are three different niches, I do not recommend that. You really want to Niche down. The more focused you are, the faster you will become known as a ‘go to’ source for something.
There are millions of lifestyle blogs out there, the more niche you become and the more help, offers and guides you can provide on one subject. The quicker you will grow.
Who hosts a great party without planning it?! Nobody, because it is not exactly possible. Some degree of planning has to go into everything, and to get that bloody great bang when you launch, you will therefore want to get organised AF*.
I use Evernote premium* for almost everything blog related and then Airtable* is used as an editorial calendar AND project management!
More on this at a later date. I do recommend Evernote; it’s ideal for saving drafts and editing on different computers, tablets and phones.
Don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed about it.
Seriously. Sure, party planning can be stressful but here are a few things I have learned: Ignoring a big page of stuff to do is the best!
In all seriousness, I have had chronic medical conditions my entire life and have had limited energy because of them. Every single task I undertake has to be broken down into small, manageable tasks. I look at them as tiny little road bumps.f
I celebrate EVERY SINGLE WIN! Woot woot! You should too!
I have set SMART goals for about six years now. (Goals that Small, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and TimeBound = Awesome.)
Sure, there are some days/weeks that I just can not get it together, and I lie in front of the TV like a zombie.
Less concerned with brains, more interested in bread OR chocolate chips and a jar of peanut butter with a long sundae spoon (my vegan version of peanut butter cups that requires zero preparation). NOM!
Do you want to know something? On those days, I do not feel guilty about taking a break. At all.
Breaks from your work are important and help your brain to get the rest it needs. I have also found that mindfulness meditation helps me crush my goals.
Make sure it is easy to get in touch with you!
Make It Easy for people to contact you! I want to thank the excellent party host! Where can you be reached? If you do not have a blog yet and want to start one, I don’t want you to just head to a “starting a blog” tutorial (there is one available if you do want to do that).
- What’s in a name? Choose your blog/business name before starting a blog
- Register a domain and purchase a hosting package
- Write some posts and remember to be as authentic as possible. Use your voice to share your opinions.
- Get organised!
- Make your reader want more! Offer a freebie, share some love or your fave resources.
- Start your email newsletter immediately.
- Show us your beautiful face – stick it in the sidebar! You are the host of this party!
- Post Consistently to both your blog and social media channels
- Meditate if you feel overwhelmed or find yourself a tribe and get talking to people in your same situation. I am always here if you need to chat or
- implode. Whatever Trevor. I am down with that.
- Celebrate every single win!
- Make it easy for people to find you and contact you!
- Let’s flipping do this!!!
Resources from this post about Starting A Blog like a pro!
- Melyssa Griffin, how to choose a great business name
- NameCheckr to see if your chosen name is available
- The Genesis Framework for WordPress*
- Angie Makes creates great themes and clip art for blogs*.
- The post I read that convinced me to buy the Genesis Framework at CopyBlogger
- Great Hosting Company.
- You can outsource work to freelancers, and you can find freelancers on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
- Use programs like Airtable* and Evernote* to stay organised and keep you on track.
I have outlined all the resources that I am using right now or that I have used in the past and I rate very highly. Essential for any potential #GirlBoss. If you are a beginner blogger, then this list is for you!
We are the new 24-hour party people.
Do you want to know something else?
I am totally here for you if you end up struggling when starting a blog before it becomes too much! The overwhelm is real.
You can leave a comment; you can e-mail me, you can get in touch with social media, send smoke signals, try a bat signal but there’s no guarantee I’ll see it or just hit reply to one of the newsletters!
One more thing I want to know, what has stopped you starting a blog?
Do you have any questions at all? If you want to discuss anything just drop me an email.
P.S If you found this post useful I would appreciate some social sharing! Pin it for later